New Light on Dark Money

By: Dr. Carol L. Simpson  

Given the increasing prevalence of dark money interference in democratic processes, digital media, despite drawbacks, notably aiding mobilization of extremist movements, is still a viable alternative for socio-political change. Social media provides grassroots activists a place to see and hear current events real-time, and a platform on which to speak against social injustice. While acknowledging youth’s vulnerability to digital age filter bubble effects, the dissemination of false or misleading information, and potential unconscious drawing toward exclusionist behavior and human rights violations, this paper draws on case studies where youth demonstrate an aptitude for sharing knowledge of human rights injustices with friends, a powerful force for challenging prejudice and discrimination. Beneath the waves of e-petitions, hashtags, likes and dislikes on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, these ubiquitous go-to’s are still spaces where people come together, exchange ideas, learn from one another, organize, and take action. The relationship between this and real political-ideological change is speculative, but this paper’s focus points to evidence that in a post-truth, alternative-fact world driven by social media and divisive politics, amidst constant battles between the corrosive effects of dark money anonymous political donor interests and journalistic watchdogs faced with death by myriad cutbacks, the solidarity of younger generations’ symbiotic bonding based on an urgent sense of common mission for the resolution of crucial human challenges, is becoming the driving force for shifting the global current of division and conflict, creating a new reality of a global society in which all may live in peace and dignity.

digital media, youth
2018 Special Focus: Alt-Media - The Shifting Tide of Political Communication
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Dr. Carol L. Simpson

President, non-profit, NEWPEACE, United States
CA, United States